Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting 32.5 million Americans. It is a chronic disease that slowly degenerates the protective cartilage in your joints. For some people, symptoms are minimal. While for others, it can be disabling. The joints in the knees, hips, hands and spine are typically involved, although any joint in the body can be affected. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis vary, but there are early signs to watch out for that can help prompt for an early medical evaluation and subsequent treatment.
Early Warning Signs of Osteoarthritis
- Joint Pain: Pain typically worsens with activity or at the end of the day. Pain can be felt as a generalized ache in the joint or sharp sensation with certain motions.
- Swelling: Fluid accumulation inside the joint or inflammation of soft tissue around the joint can cause swelling.
- Joint Stiffness: Stiffness is typically felt early in the morning upon waking up or after a period of inactivity. The stiffness gets better after moving around and as the day progresses.
- Loss of Flexibility: You may lose full range of motion and can find it difficult to move the joint because of pain, swelling or stiffness.
- Abnormal Sensations: Popping, clicking or cracking sounds may be heard and grating sensations may be felt in the joint.
If you experience these symptoms regularly, seek consultation with your orthopedic doctor. A comprehensive medical evaluation and appropriate diagnostic testing by a board-certified physician is needed to accurately diagnose the cause of your joint pain. Read our blog and watch our webinar on the non-surgical treatment options and innovative therapies for osteoarthritis.